How do siblings affect your personality?
Plus, why your spouse is extra annoying this week
“As a time and happiness researcher, yelling into the air that we don't have time to stop and smell the roses was definitely a wake-up call.”– Psychologist Cassie Holmes
Hey, brother. People sometimes use their siblings as a way to describe their own personality traits. For example, “Of course I’m tough, I grew up with six brothers!” New research suggests we may be overestimating the effect of these relationships, however. Researchers analyzed survey data from more than 80,000 people in nine different countries. Specifically, they wanted to see if sibling gender had any effect on people’s traits as adults. “What surprised me was how consistently we couldn’t detect any effects on personality,” said researcher Julia M. Rohrer, explaining that they analyzed the data in all sorts of ways to see if there was any insight to be gained. “But we really came up mostly empty-handed!” While sibling gender might influence your personality as a child, researchers say the effect disappears by adulthood. Of course, other sibling-family dynamics can indeed make an impression.
Can’t stress this enough. Stress has a way of compounding — it can make life feel more frustrating than it is. Stress also has a way of seeping into our relationships. In a study of 79 newlywed couples — people who were probably still in the “honeymoon phase” — researchers found that stressful life events made people more likely to notice annoying behavior. Over the course of ten days, study volunteers kept a diary recording how they felt about their partners. “We found that individuals who reported experiencing more stressful life events outside of their relationship, such as problems at work, were especially likely to notice if their partner behaved in an inconsiderate manner,” said lead author Dr. Lisa Neff. Something to consider if your partner is being extra annoying lately.
My feelings, your feelings. We like to think that all humans are born with the same core emotions: anger, fear, joy, sadness and disgust. But what if that’s not true? Psychologist Batja Mesquita offers a different model of emotions — one that can help us to better understand our own feelings and those of the people around us. Listen to learn more.
ON THE HIDDEN BRAIN PODCAST
Sept 26: Most of us think about time the same way we think about money — that life would be better if we only had more of it. But Professor Cassie Mogilner Holmes has found that people who have too little to do are often as unhappy as people who are overstretched. This week, she proposes a radically different way to think about the 24 hours we are given each day.
ON THE MY UNSUNG HERO PODCAST
Sept 27: "We tried to thank him and he just waved it off and…went on his way."
When Alice Claus and her sister arrived in Budapest, exhausted and in need of a hand, a young man on the street offered to help.
Don’t forget to send us the story of your unsung hero! Record a voice memo on your phone and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If the day before yesterday is the 23rd, then what is the day after tomorrow?
LAST WEEK’S PUZZLE
A hat and scarf cost a total of $1.10. The hat costs $1.00 more than the scarf. How much does the scarf cost?
The answer: It may seem like it costs 10 cents, but the answer is 5 cents. The hat costs a dollar more, so it would cost $1.05. $1.05 + $0.05 = $1.10.
FROM THE TWITTERATI…
A MOMENT OF JOY
A good reason to raise a ruckus on a plane.
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